August 29, 2018 · 5:41 pm

Wednesday Wisdom: Do’s and Don’ts for Using Hashtags on YouTube

Here are a few ideas that will help you refine your hashtag strategy on YouTube.

By Kelly Johnson

What’s your strategy for using hashtags on YouTube? Are you loading in as many hashtags as possible? Or, are you narrowing it down to the ones that are the most relevant to your video?

Did you even know that you can use hashtags on YouTube?

If you’re not hashtagging your videos, you should start. If you are, then it’s worth re-examining how you use Hashtags — especially on YouTube. Hashtags behave a bit differently on this channel.

Unlike other social networks, when you search for a hashtag on YouTube, it will surface the videos that are using the hashtag in their descriptions, but not the conversations or comments associated with that hashtag. Additionally, the video sharing network actively enforces their guidelines for using hashtags on their site.

This means you need to be more strategic with how you use hashtags. They’re a valuable asset in your social media marketing strategy, and hashtags can help you rise in search (especially since YouTube is the second most used search engine behind Google) and increase your reach.

Here are some do’s and don’ts that can help you use hashtags on YouTube to drive discoverability and reach for your content.

Don’t Over Do It on the Hashtags

Don’t dump a ton of hashtags in your description. Narrow down your hashtags to three relevant options that will help viewers easily find your content. Plus, YouTube will take action if you add too many hashtags that are misleading or unrelated.

If a video has more than 15 unrelated hashtags, YouTube may remove your video from search or the site.

Do Remember That YouTube Pulls Relevant Hashtags to The Top of Your Video

If you use more than three hashtags, make sure the first three are very relevant to your post. It helps with discoverability and YouTube pulls those hashtags above the video title.

Don’t Game The System

Trying to use broad, ordinary, descriptive tags (or non-hashtags) in your description and metadata to game YouTube’s algorithm will not help your video rise search results. YouTube has caught on to users who use non-hashtags. To be clear: Yes, you can add hashtags. However, ordinary descriptive tags or repetitive sentences in the description is prohibited.

If YouTube spots this behavior, they’ll remove your video. For example, if you’re posting a video about the perfect avocado toast, then use the hashtag #avocadotoast but avoid terms like #breakfast, #bread or other broad, spammy terms. 

Do Keep it Clean

If you have a channel that occasionally employs edgy or incendiary humor, keep the hashtags clean. YouTube will remove videos that use hashtags that can be viewed as humiliating, intimidating or harassing.

Don’t Neglect Your Tags

Just because YouTube allows you to use hashtags, doesn’t mean you should neglect your tagging strategy. Using hyper-relevant tags helps users find your videos, and also drives discoverability and reach. Remember: Tags can be used to describe the category, versus hashtags that are used to describe an interest or topic.

Download the Sensai app to receive guidance and best practices for hashtags on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.